Hopeful News As Oregon Wolf Population Grows As New Pack, Including Five Pups, Were Discovered Last Month

Late last month, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) reported that a new wolf pack has established itself in the Upper Deschutes wildlife management unit in Klamath and Deschutes counties.

As per a statement on the department’s website, the yet to be named wolf family gave birth to at least five pups this year, which were photographed on July 4th by an ODFW trail camera.

“It’s heartwarming and joyful to see photos of this wolf family running through the forests of western Oregon,” Amaroq Weiss, senior wolf advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. “Fortunately, these wolves live in a part of the state where they are still protected under federal law, since their survival depends on those protections remaining in place.”

Oregon’s wildlife agency estimated the wolf population at the end of 2021 to be 175 individuals in 21 packs,with a total of 16 breeding pairs. This was an increase of only two wolves from the year before.

As previously reported by WAN, eight wolves were illegally killed by poisoning in northeastern Oregon last year, where federal protections are absent. Those crimes remain unsolved, despite a $50,000 reward from conservation groups.

Besides the newly identified wolf family in the Upper Deschutes wildlife management unit, there are only two other packs, the Rogue pack and Indigo pack remaining. A previous western Oregon pack, the White River pack, which ranged in counties south of Mt. Hood, did not have sufficient numbers to qualify as a pack in 2021.

Wolves in Oregon once trekked statewide but were killed off to appease agricultural interests by the late 1940s. In 1999 wolves from Idaho began to make their way into Oregon, and the state’s first pack was confirmed in 2008.

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